In the past weeks, we have talked here about punching up an accent wall or a patio floor through the art of stencilling. Today we’ll take it a step further with the help of our professional house stylists friends.

Any room of your house has what we call a focal point. It’s precisely here that visitors’ eyes focus when they enter the room. Every room has a focal point, but not every focal point is worthy of WOW. By using some paint, a light touch, and a store-bought stencil (there’s a huge range available online), you can make any wall in your home pop. Here’s how.

Colours: Before you undertake any project that may impact your home’s ability to tempt potential buyers, we always suggest that you discuss it thoroughly with your house stylists. They will have discussed a colour palette with you previously, so you already know where on the colour wheel your rooms will be spinning. One great stencilling idea is to go tone on tone with your stencil to obtain a very subtle, but amazingly attractive, effect. Ask the paint store technician to mix a half-tint of your original colour to get the same colour idea but with a softer overall feel. This is perfect way to stick with your original plan and still get a bang for your buck.

The Stencil: There are thousands upon thousands of stencils to choose from online. This is another place your home stager can help. Selecting a larger, repeating stencil will mean that you will need to reposition the stencil fewer times. (Although this repositioning is not difficult and requires simply overlaying the pattern over a previously stencilled section, the fewer trips up and down your ladder you make, the more the finished product is likely to please you in the end.)

Selection of the stencil will also be a place to use the inside information your home stager has about potential buyers. Because certain market segments have likes and dislikes in common, your stager has a good idea of whether your buyer will like something contemporary, or something more traditional like a Greek key design, around the room.

Sticking It: The stencils are made of heavy-grade plastic so they can hold up to an entire room of stencilling without disintegrating. There are also spray adhesive products available at your local paint or craft store that will help to hold the stencil in place as you apply the paint. Painter’s tape is also useful.

Applying the Paint: Creating the stencil pattern on the wall is as simple as applying your chosen colour to the wall through the openings on the heavy-duty plastic stencil. Do this with a special stencilling brush that looks very much like something that belongs in a make-up kit. These brushes are available wherever you buy painting or art supplies. You can buy the more professional brush, or you can simply buy a few of the throw-away foam models. Whichever kind of brush you use just be careful to apply the paint sparingly in a dabbing or daubing technique. This paint “pouncing” will help you to keep excess paint from escaping onto surfaces not meant to be painted. Just be sure to pounce the paint-laden brush on paper towelling before you take it to the stencil and your wall. A dryer brush will make for more work, but a better overall appearance in the end.

We encourage you to allow your creative imagination to run amok, but such amok-running should be done under the careful supervision of the home design company you’ve chosen to dress your home for the sale.

Close cooperation with your home stager is critical. Remember, your stylist probably already knows many things about the people who will next live in your house. Professional stagers spend many resources in order to understand potential buyers, so it would be a great shame to waste or ignore that important information. Besides, why pay for professional advice if you don’t use it to its fullest advantage?

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